West Torrens Football Club

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West Torrens Football Club
Torrenslogo.jpg
Names
Full name West Torrens Football Club
1990 season
Leading goalkicker L. Schache
Best and fairest Paul Pisani
Club details
Founded 1894 (as Port Natives; changed to West Torrens in 1897)
Colours      Blue and      Gold
Competition SANFL
President -
Coach -
Captain(s) -
Ground(s) Jubilee Oval (1897–1904)
Hindmarsh Oval (1905–1921)
Thebarton Oval (1922 - 1989)
Football Park (1990)

West Torrens Football Club was an Australian rules football club that competed in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) from 1897 to 1990. In 1991, the club merged with neighbouring Woodville Football Club to form the Woodville-West Torrens Eagles.

Based in the western suburbs of Adelaide, the club derived its name from its location around the western reaches of the River Torrens.

Club history[edit]

There are references to a West Torrens team dating back to the 1870s but the modern club was formed in 1897 to compete in the SANFL. In its 93 year history, West Torrens won only four premierships and spent much of its existence at the foot of the premiership table.

Despite their relative lack of team success, winning only four SANFL Premierships and one Night Premiership in their history (1924, 1933, 1945, 1953 and 1983 (night)), West Torrens boasted some of the best individual players ever to play Australian rules football. Players such as 1946 and 1947 Magarey Medallist, 1953 All-Australian and 1953 premiership captain Bob Hank, triple Magarey Medal winner (1955, 1958 & 1963), 1956 All-Australian and '53 premiership player Lindsay Head and former Australian Test Cricketer Neil Hawke were all star players for the club.

The club reached the finals for the last time in 1980 and by 1982 there were calls for West Torrens to merge with another club. In 1990, with the imminent entry of the South Australian based Adelaide Crows into the national Australian Football League (AFL), it was decided that West Torrens and Woodville would amalgamate. In an apt moment, Woodville and West Torrens were drawn to play each other in their respective final games. The two sides merged after the completion of the 1990 season and have since participated in the SANFL as the Woodville-West Torrens Eagles.

Awards[edit]

  • Premierships 4 (1924, 1933, 1945 & 1953)
West Torrens won an unofficial premiership in 1918 while the SANFL was officially disbanded for the duration of World War I.
During World War II, West Torrens merged with Port Adelaide Football Club and won the 1942 premiership.
  • SANFL Night Premierships: 1 - 1983
  • SANFL Reserves Premierships: 17 - 1919, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1931, 1935, 1941, 1946, 1950, 1953, 1954, 1962, 1968, 1984, 1990
  • SANFL Under 19's Premierships: 9 - 1936, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1973, 1989
  • SANFL Under 17's Premierships: 3 - 1953, 1954, 1957

* 1983 SANFL Escort Cup Grand Final played at West Torrens home ground Thebarton Oval. The Eagles defeated South Adelaide in the last SANFL Night Grand Final to be played at a suburban ground.

Magarey Medallists

* In 1998 John Karney, along with Charlie Adams (Port Adelaide) and Wat Scott (Norwood) was retrospectively awarded the 1921 Magarey Medal after he was originally in a four way tie with only South Adelaide's 1919 and 1920 Medal winner Dan Moriarty awarded the 1921 Medal.

SANFL Leading Goalkickers

Club Colours and Emblems[edit]

  • Blue and Gold (1897–1990)
West Torrens was known as the Eagles throughout its existence in the SANFL.

Home Grounds[edit]

Famous players[edit]

  • Bob Hank: The dual Magarey Medallist captained West Torrens for nine seasons and was Club Best & Fairest a record nine times. He was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
  • Neil Hawke: The Test cricketer was also a star player with West Torrens following his clearance from Port Adelaide
  • Lindsay Head: The three time Magarey Medallist is also club game record holder with 327 games. He was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
  • Bruce Lindsay: Captained West Torrens for seven seasons. At 29 was a member of the inaugural Adelaide Crows squad for the 1991 AFL season.
  • Michael Long: Won West Torrens Best & Fairest in 1988. Won Norm Smith Medal as best on ground playing for Essendon in their 1993 AFL Grand Final win over Carlton. Of Aboriginal descent, Long has become a spokesman for Indigenous Australians and was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2007.
  • Bob Shearman: Went on to captain the Sturt Football Club and play in several of their premiership sides. Challenge trophy between Sturt and Woodville-West Torrens Eagles is named after him.
  • Neville Roberts: aka "Rocky" Roberts who wore a protective skull cap after an injury, before transferring to Norwood
  • Kym Dillon: Also a breakfast radio announcer and Sports reporter/announcer for Channel 9 Adelaide.
  • Steven Stretch: One of the many top level players who went to the VFL prior to the AFL to play for Melbourne
  • Matthew Rendell: A 200 cm / 102 kg ruckman who played 79 games for West Torrens before playing 164 games for the Fitzroy Football Club in the VFL and winning two best and fairests in 1982/83. He played a further 13 games for Brisbane Lions after the merger between the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy. Matthew's two brothers Tim and Steven also played for West Torrens.
  • Peter Kelly : Small in height but nevertheless a strong and menacing enforcer, who was much more than a hard man, he was also a fantastic leader of men. A former captain who played over 150 games for the Eagles during the 70's. Most famous for being the Captain of West Torrens in that memorable match at Thebarton oval in 1975 against West Adelaide when the Eagles had 19 on the field. Peter was also a fantastic amateur boxer. Both of Peter's sons Ryan Kelly and Trent Kelly played reserves for the Woodville-West Torrens Eagles in the 2000's, Trent went on to play state cricket for both South Australia & Western Australia and Ryan represented South Australia in the D1 SAAFL state side against Victoria in 2007.

Club Records[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Norwood
SANFL Premiers
1924
Succeeded by
Norwood
Preceded by
Sturt
SANFL Premiers
1933
Succeeded by
Glenelg
Preceded by
Norwood
SANFL Premiers
1945
Succeeded by
Norwood
Preceded by
North Adelaide
SANFL Premiers
1953
Succeeded by
Port Adelaide